Defend Our NHS : An invitation to an important meeting TODAY

Prior to our final tour of the highways (!) and byways of Wirral political life we have an important message from our friends at Defend Our NHS:

Unknown.jpg

Dear friends of the NHS

We urge supporters who are patients of Wirral GPs to respond to the email address in the letter below* and to attend this vital meeting. Please try to arrive at around 5:30pm to join in leafleting.

Wednesday 30th October 2019 at 6:00pm at Wallasey Town Hall.

I would be appreciative if you could confirm your attendance with my colleague Alex Davidson, Scrutiny Officer on 0151 691 8381 or alternatively, by email to* alexandradavidson@wirral.gov.uk. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, or require further information, Alex will be happy to assist.

Now please read on.

The letter (from Wirral councillor Moira McLaughlin, who is chair of the Adult Care and Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee) has gone to local GP patient participation groups.

The original text is in italics and we have added some comments.

Wirral Council’s Adult Care and Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee is responsible for reviewing and scrutinising the commissioning, management and performance of health and social care services on Wirral.

[We have criticised the behaviour of this committee and have written to all Wirral councillors to say so. You will remember that in December last year 45,000 residents said ‘no’ to closures or reductions in walk-in services. This is also the declared policy of the Labour Party nationally AND of Wirral Council – yet a majority of councillors chose to support the plans of the clinical commissioning group.]

Later this month, the Committee are holding a workshop for Elected Members to consider Wirral Health and Care Commissioning’s future plans for integrated health and social care services on Wirral.

[We oppose the whole notion of ‘integrated care’ as currently designed. As we have said repeatedly over many years it is all part of the grand plan to slash, trash and privatise the NHS. It is a disgrace that councillors – including from a party which has set its face against these changes – should go along with them.]

As you may be aware, Wirral CCG and Wirral Council have pooled funds and resources in order to provide a seamless provision of care for those requiring intermediate care and those with complex disabilities that require packages of care from both health and social care every day.

[We oppose pooled budgets – the subsidising of private social care from the public NHS purse. Although councillors will argue that they had no choice except to go along with it, they did. They were kept in the dark about a report from PWC which said, “The introduction of an integrated commissioner with a single pool of funds will facilitate the introduction of a wider Accountable Care System / Accountable Care Organisation across the Wirral. Without the ability for Commissioners to ultimately let a single contract for services through the ICH, the ability to move to an ACS would be impaired due to complexity which multiple contracts, budgets and accountabilities would bring.” In other words they supported a change to something they had vowed to oppose.**]

For this reason, I would like to invite a representative(s) from your patient participation group to attend this workshop to provide a brief statement on patient experiences of health and social care services, and to take part in further discussion with Members.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday 30th October 2019 at 6.00pm at Wallasey Town Hall.

I would be appreciative if you could confirm your attendance with my colleague Alex Davidson, Scrutiny Officer on 0151 691 8381 or alternatively, by email to* alexandradavidson@wirral.gov.uk . If you would like to discuss this in more detail, or require further information, Alex will be happy to assist.

Please attend and give the councillors YOUR patient experience.

More background at http://999callfornhs.org.uk/

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

 

** PWC (who were paid £40k for their work) also noted the following. The report was kept SECRET from councillors who were supposed to be scrutinising the changes. It was full of bomb shells.

Both the Council and the CCG (together ‘the Commissioners’) would like to extend their current pooled budget arrangements to incorporate the majority of the total health and social care funding within the health economy. The services that fall under the scope of these new pooled arrangements will be formally commissioned by the Integrated Commissioning Hub (ICH)

The ICH would begin with a financial deficit, with funding insufficient to meet the required expenditure, prior to any additional budget pressures being experienced from 2018/19 onwards.

Additional contingency/deficit funding would be required to be repaid in 2018/19.

Savings plans are still under discussion with community trust to identify and deliver further savings

Pooled budget is underfunded, likely to result in a deficit for the ICH.

Without significant intervention cumulative deficit likely to increase annually as prior-year demand is unmet.

CCG and Mrs Jones

bigpic

Our health correspondent Dr Love provides us with a commentary on recent events concerned with the proposed closure of two local walk in centres and the role of the  Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cllr Christine Jones. It really makes you wonder whether they’ve ‘got a thing going on’…

Dear chum

Councillor Christine Jones is the joint chair of Wirral’s Joint Strategic Commissioning Board.

She acquiesced when their recent meeting was turned into – for the most important item on the agenda – a meeting of the CCG Board. ‘Legal’ because Council and NHS budgets aren’t ‘pooled’ for the related purpose, but a smack in the gob for councillors. (And see the John Brace reference below.)

The CCG agreed unanimously to close two walk-in centres.

Cllr Jones forgets to say that ANY closures had been opposed unanimously the previous week by a joint meeting of Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Councils attended by Labour and Tory councillors.

She repeats the argument that people were ‘confused’ about existing services. NO reasonable evidence has ever been presented for this.

She accepts that there will be improvements in NHS111 (now rechristened variously ‘Ask Alexa’ and ‘Fuck off and die’).

She accepts that axed services will allegedly be covered by extra GP appointments, ignores the 100,000 missing NHS doctors and nurses, and accepts the CCG’s clear statement that this appointment system won’t necessarily be with a GP but with various assistants (less skilled, lower paid).

She fails to follow her own Council’s and her Party’s policies to oppose any closures.

She forgets that her party’s policy (nationally and locally) is to oppose the whole ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ edifice, of which the CCG and its cut and pasted plans are part.

Her colleague who follows her is also worth listening to – for different reasons.

Here’s the video of the meeting with Cllr Jones’ comments from 31 minutes in. https://wirral.public-i.tv/…/webcast_interactive/429803

But the most jaw-dropping feature of this sorry episode is that last month she wrote to a local campaigner and said, “The community consultation the CCG delivered on the urgent care review proposals showed unequivocally strong opposition to any closure of walk in centres. I stand by the wishes of Wirral residents and council and will oppose any closure of services”.

Campaigners expect councillors (especially from the ‘people’s party’) to have a grasp of the ideology behind the rapid dismantling and demoralisation of the NHS. Our little local difficulty is simply a tiny part of the ambitions of those who would beg a trade deal from Trump and leave any bits which they haven’t already plundered to the slavering jaws of United Health of Minneapolis (the previous employer of NHSE boss Simon Stevens and with huge existing NHS contracts including via its Optum system).

BTW the other joint chair (and chair of CCG) Dr Paula Cowan is a key part of the whole unedifying process. She has form in forcing through cuts https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fertility-treatment-cut-back-part-12583527

So is it the ‘aristocratic embrace’ that subverts Cllr Jones? Or is it just lovely to sit next to the NHS’s own Emily Maitlis?

She’s going to feel rather conflicted when her council colleagues refer the decision back to the Secretary of State for Health especially now that the whole process has been exposed by local video man John Brace https://johnbrace.com/is-the-decision-to-close-2-walk-in-centres-at-moreton-and-new-ferry-last-week-unlawful/?fbclid=IwAR3fGmjIDxS7NSjvNft2xoyqmX38vmOUERnSCo9tQP4U9P-5qIepFTQXrqw

The meeting video also shows Cllr Tony Norbury saying what a blow this is to the people of Birkenhead. Perhaps he’s failed to notice that elements within Birkenhead Labour – as well as Frank N Field and the local GP who runs an excellent ‘saved’ walk-in centre – are jubilant because ‘their’ Globe-splashed campaign had such a victory.

Yours, Dr Love

 

WALK ON BY – Defend Our NHS: 45,000 people or a committee?

In all of the recent local press coverage about the proposed closure of Wirral’s NHS Walk–In Centres  it seemed to us it was a case of mutual arse-kissing with Frank Field/Abhi Mantegni/Wirral Globe thanking each other for saving us all from the bleeding obvious decision that closing local NHS Walk-In Centres makes no sense whatsoever – economically or politically.

Meanwhile our unrelenting friends at Defend Our NHS were dismissed and unnamed in these reports as ‘campaigners’.

So let’s give these true defenders their due and support their efforts to save us from a fate worse than a total fuck up.

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 21.46.00

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 21.47.26

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 21.54.33.png

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 21.56.32.png

Defend Our NHS: Trump, Wirral and scandalous behaviour

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 07.09.23.png

Following on from our last post and continuing our support to keep public services out of private hands we bring you the latest missive from Defend Our NHS. We’d also like to give you the heads up on a new website launched next week by the NHS Support Federation  NHS for sale

Dear friends of the NHS

First, Mr Trump and his view that OUR health service has to be part of any trade deal with the USA. Well, of course we oppose that completely. But for British government ministers to bluster that it will never happen ‘on my watch’ is total hypocrisy. Parts of our NHS – nationally and HERE in Wirral – are already controlled by American corporations. A former boss of United Health of Minneapolis is the head of NHS England. 

We have warned about this since we were formed over eight years ago; other campaigners have been sounding the alarm for a lot longer*. Our Facebook page lists American outfits active in Wirral.

PLEASE read and share these articles which explain what has been going on and what’s behind it.

USA healthcare is already here!

The NHS is already on the table. But here’s exactly how Trump wants to sharpen the knives.

And watch this succinct and heartfelt video explanation by our friend Steve Carne and which refers to the first link above. 

Second, Wirral, and our alert about meetings to decide the fate of our walk-in centres. These were a joint scrutiny committee of Wirral Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council on Tuesday 18th June at 6.00pm in Wallasey Town Hall and a joint strategic board meeting (i.e. Wirral Council and Wirral CCG) on Tuesday 9th July in Birkenhead Town Hall. (The meeting starts at 2.00pm and we will meet outside the Town Hall from 1.00pm.)

18th June? Imagine our shock when we learned that Cllr Moira McLaughlin has CANCELLED the meeting, writing (in her words) “Cllr Gilchrist has been made aware that members of the public believe that a meeting has been arranged with Cheshire West and Chester Scrutiny cttee to look at the implications for both authorities of the Urgent Care review which was examined in detail by the Wirral Adult Scrutiny cttee during the last municipal year…. I have asked that the provisional notice of a joint meeting on the 18th June be removed from the Council calendar” 

Can you understand why Wirral (and Cheshire) Council would give up this opportunity to scrutinise this hugely important issue? We can’t. Please ask your own councillors to investigate and intervene. They are either for our NHS… or not. What are they trying to hide?

9th July? Thus is even more shocking. We are now told that the vote at the Joint Strategic Board meeting will be just by members of the CCG board and not by the representatives of the Council. JOINT?!!! Wirral Council has pooled budgets and agreed to joint decision-making on health issues and is now surrendering all its powers to the local branch of NHS England.

The CCG could vandalise our walk-in and urgent care provision against the wishes of FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND people and the vast majority responding to their ‘consultation’.

A date which will live in infamy? Don’t let them get away with it. PLEASE contact your councillors now to protest against this arrogant behaviour. It cannot be allowed. There’s even more reason to gather on Tuesday 9th July from 1.00pm outside and inside Birkenhead Town Hall.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

 * To prove this is not new, try to answer this quiz:

What date is this conversation in the House of Commons? And who answered the question?

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the agreement between his Department and the United Healthcare Group?

A: The government is committed to encouraging expressions of interest from successful international organisations to partner Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in developing and testing models of integrated care in the national health service. In line with this commitment, the Department is in discussion with United Healthcare Group with a view to entering into a contractual relationship with them to provide hands-on support to a number of PCTs to test elements of United Healthcare Group’s Evercare model in this country and tailor it to the needs of the NHS. Under the Evercare model, doctors and nurses in primary care work together with care staff to identify vulnerable individuals at highest risk of hospitalisation. This allows for early intervention and treatment, thus avoiding inappropriate hospital admission, and facilitating safe, early discharge where a stay in hospital is necessary. The work will be carried out under the national primary and care trust development programme to promote significant transformational change.

 

Wirral Council Candidates Defending Our NHS

WirralNHS

The picture above represents a very big reason why campaigners are looking forward to new faces amongst Wirral councillors. The upper circle shows the logos of private NHS contractors given contracts since 2012. The lower circle shows the logos of AMERICAN corporations operating in the NHS in Wirral. The linked quotations speak for themselves. This is very much part of departing Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’s appalling legacy which we will be shortly exploring in full. He may soon be gone but will not be forgotten.

Meanwhile ten of the ninety candidates in next week’s local elections (Green, Red,Yellow but no Blue – see photo below) turned up at a Defend Our NHS hustings last Thursday and pledged total support to reverse the damage done to local health services by the unholy alliance of Wirral Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. A total of twenty-six sent messages of support and/or explaining their position when it comes to voting on health issues.

Onwards to 2nd May! But before then it’s your chance to play  ‘Name That Candidate!’ . We’ll start you off by giving you some clues – to the left there’s a former Lib Dem councillor, to the, er, right is a controversial Labour candidate for Rock Ferry and somewhere in the middle is another Labour candidate with the surname ‘Davies’ .  However, whoever they are, we anticipate that some will become more familiar than others over the coming months and years. Let’s just hope their support for the NHS is sustained long after the polls have closed…

Councilcandidates

 

 

 

Defend Our NHS: important public meeting – 25 April

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 10.03.10

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 10.03.38

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 10.04.01

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 10.04.20

Dear friends of the NHS

Attached is our latest leaflet which will be distributed widely in the coming weeks. Please read and share it.

The leaflet is linked to our next public meeting which we urge you to attend (and to publicise widely):

Thursday, 25 April 2019 from 7:00pm

Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton Square.

At the meeting there will be an update on saving our walk-in services.

But the main focus will be our campaign urging people to #VoteNHS.

We are writing to and inviting EVERY candidate standing for election in May’s local council contest in Wirral. Those who are sitting councillors are being asked about their record in relation to health and care; new candidates are being asked about their position and their intentions if elected.  If they can’t attend they can still communicate their views.

Our message to candidates is clear: we have had enough warm words from councillors; we want ACTIONS which defend our NHS. Councillors have the power to do this. And our message to fellow residents of Wirral is clear: #VoteNHS

In December Wirral Council agreed overwhelmingly (a decision by councillors from the three main political parties) to collaborate more formally with the decisions of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG, the local subsidiary of NHS England*).

They had previously rolled over and accepted the government’s decision to abolish the NHS and replace it with local variations: the STP, the ACS and (the latest) the ICS or integrated care system. They had also actually welcomed US health corporations into Wirral.

We want our new council to set about reversing this complicity and to join with campaigners to reinstate our NHS locally and nationally.

Come along and join us. Let’s see how candidates respond to our reasonable request for answers. If you can’t attend please ask your candidates these questions before you vote.

    1. Did any sitting councillors vote for the new ‘integrated’ health and care arrangements with Wirral CCG last December – and if so WHY?
    2. By forming the partnership with the CCG Wirral Council is obliged to support (for example) the urgent care review and therefore to support whatever the ‘commissioners’ decide to do with walk-in services. Were your councillors or candidates aware of this?
    3. CCGs were set up by the government to bring about their plan to Americanise our NHS. Councils in other parts of the country have withdrawn their cooperation** with their CCGs and are refusing to go along with cuts and closures. Do your councillors and candidates support withdrawing support from the CCG and the plans to ‘slash, trash and privatise’. If not, WHY NOT?

 

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS 

   

* The boss of NHS England is Simon Stevens. Previously he spent a decade working for United Health, the USA’s leading private health corporation. He is a world expert in health privatisation. His ‘alternative’ CV is available on our Facebook page.

** For examples only: 1: Hammersmith & Fulham council successfully blocked the closure of Charing Cross Hospital; 2: Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest councils all opposed CCG cuts ; 3: Luton council pulled out of its local ‘integrated care system’ because it had little influence over the plans 4: seven councils rejected local ‘sustainability’ plans.

 

 

Defend Our NHS: Romance is in the air – 14th February

 

Apologies to all our campaigning friends on Wirral – you haven’t had a look in this week but we hope to rectify the situation this Sunday evening with a trio of posts (yes , you lucky people). Could this be the start of Wirral Leaks ‘Sunday Campaign Bulletin’ ? Probably not! First up we have our faithful friends at Defend Our NHS . Not only are we liking their campaign we’re liking their campaigning style…

Romance2Birkenhead Town Hall
7.00pm
14th February
(dress code optional but wear your heart on your sleeve)

Dear friends of the NHS

We have been undecided on the most appropriate Valentine-themed title for our next public meeting on 14th February.

Given that 32,000 of us, including many local doctors, still await a response to our objections to Wirral CCG’s plans to undermine community health centre services, our early suggestion was walk-in back to (un)happiness

As the plans are only part of the wider political agenda to ‘slash, trash and privatise’ we changed the title to the St Valentine’ Day Massacre (of the NHS in Wirral)

But, on a day for the softy in you, when you will be thinking of roses and chocolates and candlelit suppers and sloppy films, if you and yours are making your way through a cold dark Wirral night you deserve a fine romance

So this is what we have in store for you. A drama of epic proportions! Spanning continents! Passion! Pride! Laughter! Tears! Yet more tears! Romance!

Yes! It’s the love for the NHS that dare not speak its name. Four men against the world!

PS 1: For the BIG picture of what’s happening to our NHS read this: https://publicmatters.org.uk/2019/01/25/rinse-and-repeat-the-sequel-to-the-5-year-forward-view/

PS 2: For the REGIONAL picture read this: What changes will patients notice when the NHS is run by Integrated Care Systems and Providers?

PS 3: for the LOCAL picture go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

 

 

Defend Our NHS : walk-in back to (un)happiness?

 

defend our nhs wirral

Dear friends of the NHS

Are you ready to be insulted? You probably will be (again) on next month. Read on!

Insult and minor injury

Before Christmas 32,000 people signed petitions opposing the proposed damaging changes to Wirral’s walk-in and minor injuries services.

The petitions (organised by us and by local doctors and other campaign groups) also called for the board of Wirral’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) to organise meetings in every Council ward to explain themselves.

In November Wirral councillors* demanded that the related farcical ‘consultation’ be ended and that “…the CCG come back to clinicians and patient group[s] to discuss meaningful and open proposals to retain the existing community-based services and improve the services, not at the cost of them being subsumed into a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Arrowe Park Hospital”.

And what was the CCG response? They said ‘consultation’ would continue as planned but “notes the motion”. They said they would ‘listen’ to the thousands (having based the changes on the alleged ‘confusion’ of a few hundred).

The arguments should (but there’s no guarantee) be aired again in February. AND WE URGE YOU TO ATTEND TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.

  • On Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 2.00pm in Birkenhead Town Hall there’s a meeting of the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board*. Three Wirral councillors (Councillor Chris Jones, Councillor Bernie Mooneyand Councillor Stuart Whittingham  will meet a mass of CCG representatives to continue the now agreed plans to run local health and care services jointly. Oh, by the way, the Council now picks up the tab when the CCG gets into (more) financial hot water, acting (to quote the document) in a ‘cash management/banking role until anticipated income is received’.
  • Then on Tuesday 12th February from 1.00pm in the Exmouth Room at the Lauries in Birkenhead it’s the CCG Governing Body meeting. Will they have listened by then?  They tell us that “An analysis of the feedback received during the consultation period has commenced.  This will be considered along with other evidence by the NHS Wirral CCG Governing Body later in the year [no date given].  The analysis and report is being completed by an external organisation.” (Uh, oh! We hope it’s not PWC!)

*Ignorance or hypocrisy?  Wirral Council wins at Pointless

Wirral councillors do not seem to realise that they can condemn walk-in changes as loudly as they like but their opposition is pointless. Why? They have signed a ‘Section 75’ agreement with the CCG. That’s part of the ‘sustainability and transformation/accountable care/integrated care’ system which the Council has been aiding and abetting for years – while denying it was happening. It includes ‘urgent care transformation’ and the end of current walk-in services. That’s why persuading them to change direction and defend our NHS is ever more important.

So, who said romance is dead?

What more appropriate date on which to discover the answer to that question than Thursday 14th February? We will be holding our next public meeting that evening (details soon) and hope that you will share your Valentine’s Day with fellow romantics determined to Defend Our NHS.

Best wishes on behalf of DONHS

 

Defend Our NHS report : Theresa May’s launch of the NHS Long Term Plan should fool no-one

 

Dear friends of the NHS

Please read and share widely.

This email is based on press releases by Merseyside KONP and national KONP/Health Campaigns Together (to whom thanks) and information from the Defend Our NHS team.  The photograph is from the Guardian web site and the cartoon from the Times.

On Monday Theresa May was welcomed to Liverpool by Merseyside KONP, Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital campaign, Defend Our NHS and a hundred protestors who gave her a very clear message on her plan.

alder hey

Protestors know the reality – and how things are getting worse. At Arrowe Park Hospital bed occupancy has been 99.3% against a safe level of 85%. And last year ambulances had to wait more than an hour to hand over their patient to the hospital 2,477 times, up from just 80 in 2013/14.

The Royal Liverpool Hospital has been on ‘Red Alert’ at least 25 times since 1 December. Bed occupancy is 92.3%, In December, 495 ambulances waited over 30 minutes to discharge their patients, and 135 of these waited over 60 minutes. Last week, some patients waited over 3 hours to be seen in A&E, and some in A&E waited 24 hours for a hospital bed.

In Liverpool a major problem is that the half-built Carillion PFI hospital was designed with fewer beds; capacity at the Royal was cut to match the plans. The Trust justified the cuts, claiming that Care in the Community would reduce demand.

And in Wirral the CCG’s proposals to slash services at walk-in centres will compound the problem.

May’s plan, written by NHS England Chief Exec Simon Stevens*, will replicate this all over England, shifting resources out of hospital, promoting digital technology (with the secretary of state Matt ‘Appcock’ anxious to replace GP consultations) and telling patients to look after themselves.

Rationing

Last winter, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suddenly postponed all elective (planned) operations to ease the pressure on hospitals. Now, an NHS England document Preparing for 2019/20 Operational Planning and Contracting intends to ensure that ‘as much of [sic] inpatient elective activity occurs in the first half of the year, before winter’.

The document also includes a rationing plan for 17 NHS treatments no longer to be commissioned by CCGs. Trusts are also urged to ‘grow their external (non-NHS) income’ and ‘work towards securing the benchmarked potential for commercial income growth’. Hence the ward at Clatterbridge Hospital recently handed over to Four Seasons Health.

Trusts must set up systems to raise money by charging patients for treatment (‘overseas visitor cost recovery’) – a policy recently denounced by several medical Royal Colleges because of its impact on individual and public health.

Long term agenda

The 44 discredited Sustainability and Transformation Plans, re-branded as Integrated Care Systems, will hold the regional budgets to control NHS Trusts. ‘Planning assumptions’ in each STP area are to be agreed by 14 January. Neither the STPs, nor the ICSs, nor the Long Term Plan have been mandated by an Act of Parliament, let alone by patients or health workers. Yet, despite protests and clear evidence of the dangers, Wirral Council has charged at full speed into the STP and an ‘integrated’ partnership with the local clinical commissioning group. (We will be writing again soon about the ongoing legal challenge to this.)

The private sector could gain control of individual ICSs through long term contracts to manage the entire health system within one region.

Real integration of health and social care can only take place when the profit motive is taken out, with care fully-staffed and resourced, publicly accountable, funded through general taxation, and provided free at the point of need.

point of need

John Lister, editor of Health Campaigns Together said:

All of the main lines of what has been published or leaked about the Plan are a depressing re-run of previous plans and gimmicks: the only novel proposals are for more central control and less accountability, for trusts to run more like and with private businesses seeking profits, and to raise money by undermining the principles and values of the NHS through charging overseas visitors – a government policy widely condemned by NHS professional staff and campaigners as discriminatory and a step backwards from prevention and public health.

There is no reason to believe this plan, with even less local accountability and no serious plans for public consultation, will prove any more acceptable to the public or successful in implementation than the secretive STPs in 2016 or other previous failed efforts.

Campaigners have yet to see anything to recommend the new plans, or any indication NHS England is willing to come to grips with the crisis fuelled by chronic austerity limits on funding – or demand an end to chaos and fragmentation of the Health & Social Care Act.”

Dr Tony O’Sullivan, KONP Co-chair and retired consultant paediatrician, said:

The government has cut £7bn to social care and has underfunded the NHS by £20bn in annual funding over the last 9 years. There is no plan to repair the damage done. Platitudes about prevention and better health are exposed by the £1bn cuts to the public health budget responsible for prevention.

After 9 years undermining mental health, the ‘extra’ now committed is not new money but comes from elsewhere within NHS funding. Theresa May’s assertion that the NHS has never received higher funding is simply not true in relation to NHS funding required to meet need.

Over 210,000 vacancies in NHS and social care and unacceptable stress carried by staff, dangerous waits for A&E, cancer care and surgery, all tell the true story. And the fact that private health providers get 50% of their funds from treating patients diverted from an NHS deprived of the resources to treat them itself exposes the policy direction of government. We cannot accept this situation.’

Watch out for some further analysis of the NHS Long Term Plan which we’ll share by email to this list and on our Facebook page.

DONHS on Facebook

* Mr Stevens’ previous job? “His responsibilities include leading UnitedHealth’s strategy for, and engagement with, national health reform, ensuring its businesses are positioned for changes in the market and regulatory environment.”

 

A Message from Defend Our NHS : the days dwindle down … and the CCG venue changes

December 11

Dear friends of the NHS

As you know next Tuesday 11th December is petition day. On that day the thousands and THOUSANDS of names opposing changes to the walk-in centres and other units will be presented to Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group. (At the current estimate about 18,000 more people oppose the changes than said they were “confused” by the present system.)

BUT the CCG has changed the venue. It’s now in the Exmouth Suite, The Lauries, 142 Claughton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 6EY (1pm – 4pm).

We hope we will see you there to show the CCG the strength of feeling.

And remember the petitions are not only opposing the changes; we are also demanding that the CCG should “organise an accessible public meeting in every Wirral council ward attended by a member of CCG staff and a Wirral Council representative to discuss the views of Wirral residents relating to proposed changes to health and care services”.

Meanwhile, today Nottingham Council has withdrawn in disgust from the integrated care process because of the “democratic deficit”. This is the process to which Wirral Council has signed up but which some councillors are now fiercely opposing. It’s also the process to which a legal challenge has been mounted with our support.

To find out more about any of the above issues please visit our Facebook page.

Meanwhile a reminder about this Saturday:

Please note and circulate this widely.

Saturday 8th December

Because of logistical difficulties SATURDAY’s MARCH in Birkenhead is CANCELLED.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

But please note the following:

The rally at 11.00am on Saturday morning  8th December  is being organised by the Miriam Centre and is going ahead (but is limited for space). Please remember that this is a normal working day at the Centre which will be busy with patients. We must respect this and not interfere in any way with the venue, entrances, parking etc. We are there to offer our support and solidarity to the doctors and other staff seeking to preserve a vital part of our NHS. If you are attending the rally please don’t bring banners etc. If there are too many people for the room there will be an overspill meeting; if this is the case we’ll walk two minutes down the road and into Birkenhead Park.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/